The American songstress, 39, has been hitting headlines of late in the wake of the controversial documentary Framing Britney Spears, made by The New York Times.
The programme, which landed in the UK yesterday, delves into the circumstances that led to the establishment of her conservatorship in 2008 following her highly-publicised breakdown.
A Los Angeles court granted her father Jamie, 68, control over her finances in the legal arrangement, sparking the #FreeBritney movement of fans who want to see her released and able to take charge of her life again.
The documentary also examines much of the Toxic singer’s life in the spotlight, from her early days as a child performer to her current semi-retired status – with the reminder of how Britney was often negatively presented in the public eye infuriating some viewers.
Britney has previously reassured her supporters about her ‘unique’ situation and insisted she does stand up for what she wants. Her social media manager Cassie Petrey has also waded in on the debate surrounding the singer’s social media posts, sharing a post on her personal account stressing they are ‘really not that deep’.
Britney Spears’ latest Instagram post has fuelled long-standing speculation that the singer is using social media to make a cry for help
She wrote: ‘Britney is not “asking for help” or leaving secret messages in her social media… She is literally just living her life and trying to have fun on Instagram. She has a team to help strategize like any major celebrity generally does at this point in her career.’
Cassie went on to urge fans not to ‘bully’ the singer, insisting she is simply sharing images that she likes.
‘That’s it,’ she concluded. ‘There’s not some secret agenda to it. She’s just having a good time, and I hope this helps people see it for what it actually is.’
But many fans aren’t convinced and insist on reading into every nuance of her posts to deduce if she’s sending cryptic clues about her ongoing battle.
THE SCRABBLE BOARD
Britney shared the image alongside a tongue-in-cheek caption in which she joked that she sometimes likes to make up fake words to spice up the game
Yesterday the singer posted an image of a jumbled Scrabble board with ‘made-up words’ – leading to a frenzy among her 28.1million followers to try to find a secret code.
Britney shared the image alongside a tongue-in-cheek caption in which she joked that she sometimes likes to make up fake words to spice up the game: ‘Can you find a word that isn’t actually a word ???? Sometimes it’s fun to make ones up.’
She had several words on her board, including ‘ABIRV’ and ‘SODELN’, however she soon left fans scratching their heads over ‘codes’.
Many flooded the comments section to note what they had spotted, including ‘Quit’ spelled backwards, and insisted Britney had shared the image in a bid to reach out to for help.
THE ‘BE KIND’ MESSAGE
Britney’s post last week featured a picture of a gold heart with the quote: ‘We need to care less about whether our children are academically gifted and more about whether they sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria’
Last week Britney shared a post encouraging America to embrace ‘kindness’ and ‘pass it on’.
It featured a picture of a gold heart with the quote: ‘We need to care less about whether our children are academically gifted and more about whether they sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria.’
The message led to speculation that Britney sees herself as ‘the lonely kid’ she referenced, and fans suggested the post was a thank you to the people who showed solidarity with her following the release of the documentary.
Meanwhile another fan hailed her the ‘queen of subliminal messages’.
THE ‘NEVER FORGOTTEN’ POST
While many followers remarked that they would never forget Britney, others read more into the quote, deeming it a secret message
Earlier this month Britney posted a nostalgic snap of a pair of glittery stilettos, with the caption: ‘She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten.’
While many followers remarked that they would never forget her, others read more into the quote, deeming it a secret message.
‘[She’s the] queen of leaving us “breadcrumbs”,’ wrote one fan.
Another claimed it was Britney’s way of letting people know she is ‘here to stay’, while a supporter of the #FreeBritney movement wrote: ‘We haven’t forgotten you! It’s just taking us 13 years!’ – referencing her long-standing conservatorship.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE POSTS
In one video Britney grooved to a Justin Timberlake track (left) – and tagged her ex in the post
Fans expressed concern earlier this year when Britney shared a number of videos of her dancing provocatively in front of her Christmas tree – over a month after the big day. In one she grooved to a Justin Timberlake track – and tagged her ex-boyfriend in the post.
Many claimed the odd clips are yet more evidence that the singer is making a cry for help, with one commenting: ‘People who care about her safety and can tell that something is wrong here.’
Another wrote: ‘This is just awkward. I’m starting to think she is being filmed through a mirror and doesn’t realize it. She def doesn’t have control of this page either.’
And one remarked: ‘Queen, I’m not judging that the tree is still up but it wasn’t up on the Dec. 28th soo that’s suspicious. You don’t need to answer to anyone but girl, we’re concerned.’
The outcry for Britney to be given control over her life following the documentary prompted Justin Timberlake to release an apology to her and Janet Jackson in a lengthy social media post. He said he wanted to release the apology ‘because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed’.
In response to trolls and fans who critiqued her dance clips, Britney shared a post in which she admitted she has little patience for technology and noted the videos were only meant to be a bit of fun.
THE DYING ROSE
Britney shared a photo of a dying rose with a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke, a Bohemian-Austrian poet whose work has been described by a number of critics as ‘mystical’
In December Britney shared an image of a dying rose, accompanied by the caption: ‘If you will stay close to nature… to its simplicity… to the small things hardly noticeable… those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.’
She attributed the quote to Rainer Maria Rilke, a Bohemian-Austrian poet whose work has been described by a number of critics as ‘mystical’.
Following the release of the documentary, fans were quick to read into the image and its caption, with one remarking in the comments: ‘It sounds like a clue. Like to look for the small things in her posts like the things not noticeable.’
Another wrote: ‘This is significant,’ while one posted: ‘The rose doesn’t look too great… maybe a sign?’
Some fans went so far as to claim Britney, who has shared several images of roses in the last few months, was referencing an organisation called Project Rose, which arrests sex workers to ‘save’ them by bringing them to church and holding them against their will.
The singer hasn’t made any direct mention of the organisation, but has addressed fans’ concerns that she shares a lot of photos of her wearing the same clothes by explaining it’s a ‘personal photo project’ called Project Rose.
‘I know, I did wear the same top 17 times, but it’s for a project, Project Rose. And you’ll be seeing way more of Project Rose in the future,’ she said.
THE YELLOW TOP
Britney wore a yellow top in a video after a fan wrote on a previous post urging her to wear the colour if she needs help
Britney sparked a huge furore among fans in July last year after a follower wrote a message on her page asking her to send a signal if she needed help.
The fan wrote: ‘If you need help, wear yellow in your next video.’
Britney did then wear a yellow top in her next video, teamed with white shorts and a bunch of flowers.
Twirling around, she captioned the clip: ‘HOLY HOLY C**P My florist surprised me today by making the flower arrangement all different colors… I was so excited I threw on my favorite yellow shirt and just had to SHARE.’
THE DOVES POST
The singer shared this image after a fan sent Britney a message on Twitter telling her to share a post about doves if she was in trouble
A week after the yellow top saga, Britney alarmed fans again when she shared an image of a painting by Austrian artist Hans Zatzka.
The image sparked speculation because it featured two women surrounded by five white doves and cherubs. The singer shared it after a fan sent Britney a message on Twitter telling her to share a post about doves if she was in trouble.
A number of her followers yet again took it as a sign that Britney was reaching out.